Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yorkist Army, Impetus

Something of a mini-milestone today, as I have finally completed enough of my Wars of the Roses figures to build a 300-point army for Impetus! This is the recommended size in the Impetus rulebook for the dining-room table I have, so I thought I'd whip them out for a photoshoot.

The full host of 12 bases, or roughly a third of the eventual total.

The Vanguard leader, Lord Fauconberg. When I searched for pics of him, lots of people seem to prefer his livery coat with the white cross on a red background, but I decided I liked the simple 'blue & white' colours. (The arrows base next to him will be used in Impetus as a disorder marker.)

Edward IV leading the Main, along with his personal standard-bearer. The standard was made from scanning the Freezywater book, duplicating & flipping the image, then painting up the printed-out version to replace back-to-front text. No masterpiece perhaps, but it works quite well!

The Earl of Warwick again, with his livery. He, like all the figures here, has had a powdering of Citadel grass glued to his base. It's the first time I've tried that, and despite my crude learning-curve efforts it seems to have added a lot. I've usually under-appreciated basing on my models in the past, so this is a real increase in effort for me.

The battle line in full array for a fight - enough to give any Lancastrian (or even just some poor unfortunate with red roses in his garden) pause for thought.

The King, in close-up. And no, it's not the "Blue Suede Shoes" King either, but the "Slaughter all those who oppose me" King... (The first one sounds nicer, doesn't he?)

A little close-up on Fauconberg, who I even gave a bit of face-detailing to, with eyes and mouth giving a bit of 'pop' to the figure, plus the neat black edge of the base making it a bit more hey-look-at-me! appeal.

Next up, a Lancastrian Impetus army!

Friday, June 10, 2011

First Battle near Tobruk, 1941

News at last of the first battle with my 'Desert War' figures. With surprising speed, I was able to bash out the painting and prepping of the Afrika Korps. Here's a picture of the completed 21st Panzer Division:

3 Tanks, 4 Infantry, 1 Artillery, 1 88mm, 2 Recon, 1 HQ (and a half-track just for the hell of it!)

Time to get the first battle onto the tabletop, and the marked-up pic below gives you an idea of the deployments.

The Axis plan is for a big, bold strike hooking around the open south flank. Consequently the Italians are left holding the north in a thin-stretched line, the more infantry-heavy 90th Light will act as the hinge on which the two panzer divisions turn to complete their move northwards and roll up the Brits.

British Army plans are slightly more cautious, given the Axis draw of so many Panzer unit cards. The two infantry divisions are deployed along the line of all those minefields, with the South Africans in the north and the Indians in the south. The 7th Armoured division stays back away to the south in open desert, lurking where it can do some damage to flanks. The Free-French brigade is left on the southern end of the main line for a bit more protection, while the tanks of the 8th Armoured brigade are kept in reserve behind the 4th Indian Division.

"Cup of tea, anyone?"

The battle started with the Germans roaring forward at full pelt, and 90th Light Division struck the Free French brigade full-on, aided by the efforts of the Luftwaffe who blew up it's artillery and HQ, meaning most of it's losses were permanently lost for this battle.

"Sacre Bleu! Voila les Boches!"

Thankfully the 4th Indian division quickly weighed into the struggle, and before long the battered French were pulling back to safety and it was the 90th Light who looked the more beleaguered. Southwards, the two Panzer divisions swept on and the 7th Armoured Division soon found that rather than picking on a flank it was being hit head-on by the 21st Panzer.

The fighting between these two divisions see-sawed back and forth for a while, with an attempt by the Luftwaffe to intervene brought spectacularly to grief by the Anti-Aircraft guns of the Desert Rats.

"Crikey, that was a close one!"

With the other units to its north and south engaged, 15th Panzer found itself advancing into a gap - would it turn north as planned, or south to outnumber the isolated 7th Armoured? It's grizzled lead-figure commander stood his full 10mm tall, and ordered his staff to keep moving northwards. However, he wasn't about to entirely leave 7th Armoured alone, and he ordered a recon battalion to go south and spot for his 8.8Flak guns, which he also detailed off south to form a little mini-detachment.

it wasn't long before the 88s proved a spectacular success, and 7th Armoured began to struggle against a foe they couldn't even hit back at!


The battle began to hot up, and as the scale of the Axis swing south became obvious, the British General ordered the South Africans in the north to attack out and hit the Italians, hoping to force a German unit to break off and rush to their aid. The Ariete Armoured division, far smaller in size and badly overstretched, soon found itself fighting a desperate retreat against the rampaging South Africans. Elsewhere on the field, the 90th Light and 15th Panzer attacked north together and slowly forced the 4th Indian to give up ground. It got a lot of good support from the armoured brigade and the remaining Frenchmen, but the numbers were definitely turning against it. Worst of all, the 7th Armoured division was nearly destroyed and retreated off-table, now freeing the 21st Panzer to join the fray!

It was all coming down to the supply depots in each army's rear - would the South Africans' raid blow them up first as the Italians collapsed, or would the heavy swing of the Germans land first? The Germans seemed to be doing better, as the British line weakened, the supply dumps came into range and the Panzers blew them up one after the other

Ka-Boom! "No more of ze bully beef for you tonight, Tommy!"

The South Africans similarly rampaged through the Axis rear, driving the Axis tanks back onto their last dump and forcing Rommel to rush the 21st Panzer back to try and hold them off!

Finally, neither side managed it (although the Brits did fail only because the Axis rolled a 6 on a saving throw!) Night fell on the desert, and both sides had to back off, realising they'd scored a draw - but with the Axis ahead by 1 point, thus claiming a technical win.

"Bad show, Timpkins!"


Thursday, June 2, 2011

List of Projects

Disaster strikes in the wargames world! After ages with no dedicated space to play a game, I have finally managed to clear out an area of the loft for myself - only for the damn light to stop working the moment I try to play the first Desert War battle!

Pictured: the loft.

Most annoying, and also a real problem - what do I do in my evenings now? The WW2 Desert figures are all done; the Wars of the Roses figures are still there, but must be done in small doses to prevent madness. So, what else? I wound up buying a copy of Wargames Illustrated for some inspiration, and it turns out their issue (#283) is themed largely around the Gallipoli campaign.
Interesting stuff, and something which - despite knowing about it and being interested by it for a long time, I'd never considered it as a wargames project. Still, I'm wary about throwing myself into a new project after only about 2 seconds' thought! I decided to make a list of possible things I could do to fill the evenings until I could get the loft light fixed.

  • Gallipoli campaign. Possibly in 10mm Pendraken figures? The magazine is naturally filled with the highly expensive 28mm figs, which look great but would be a hell of a thing to take on. Maybe a fair bit of terrain to make, too. Also, the old classic: how do you model trenches being dug and destroyed?!
  • Medieval Campaign for DBA. Classic DBA campaign for a roughly Hundred Years' War, Burgundian Wars, late-medieval-esque thing. Time to use the 6mm Baccus figures I have, although a bit of awkward rebasing might be required? Armies would be English, French, Free Companies, Burgundians, Flemish, Swiss, etc. Does have the definite advantage that I own most of the figures - I'm just not that keen on chiselling a bunch of them off the bases I first glued them to!
  • Play and record a full game of 'Barbarossa to Berlin', the GMT boardgame I own covering WW2 in Europe. It's a good game, but actually playing it through and recording it could give me a nice narrative to post on the blog by the end.
  • Seven Years' War - not so much a painting exercise but more of a paper one. Use Tony Bath's 'Setting up a Wargames Campaign' to create a large fictional continent of countries to then fight out wars with my Austrian & Prussian 15mm armies.
  • Do the Great Italian Wars for Impetus in 28mm. Expensive, but for Basic Impetus at least manageable, and also a period I've wanted to do for a while.
  • Sudan Campaign, as inspired by reading 'The River War' and the 'Fire and Sword in the Sudan' website. They supply a full campaign, which is something I'm always a sucker for.
  • The Boer War. Yet another period I've always had a quirky interest in, and I see that 'Too Fat Lardies' are currently developing a set of rules for it (their 'Lard Island News' blog has a few articles & photos.)
  • Buy a boardgame, so I can play something straight away and not muck about with all that painting nonsense!
Too many options, not enough time & money! What to do? Ah, the dilemmas of the hobby...